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*Tractor-trailer loses fuel tanks in Va. 7 crash

Tow truck operators prepare to move a tractor-trailer
Tow truck operators prepare to move a tractor-trailer that went through a barricade on eastbound Va. 7 east of Winchester on Wednesday morning. Dennis Grundman/Daily (Buy photo)

By Alex Bridges -- abridges@nvdaily.com

WINCHESTER -- Drivers escaped serious injury in a two-vehicle crash in Frederick County on Wednesday morning.

But the collision spurred a hazardous materials clean-up crew when the tractor-trailer involved dropped its fuel tank.

The crash occurred at 10:10 a.m. in the 2700 block of eastbound Va. 7 (Berryville PIke), according to Maj. Robert "Robbie" Eckman, of the Frederick County Sheriff's Office.

A 2002 BMW, driven by Frances N. Rodriguez, 45, of First Street, Berryville, pulled out of the parking lot of Oak Hill Grocery, 2708 Berryville Pike, Eckman said. The car drove into the path of a 2005 International tractor-trailer, driven by Ronnie W. Sampson, 46, of North Frederick Pike, Winchester, traveling eastbound in the right lane, according to Eckman.

Sampson swerved the tractor-trailer carrying 12,000 pounds of cargo for Estes Expressline, to avoid hitting the BMW but still struck the car and pushed it back onto the parking lot, Eckman said.

The tractor-trailer then ran off the road to the right and down an embankment, Eckman said. The vehicle struck a fence and collided with a shed on private property containing lawn-care equipment, according to Eckman. The collision destroyed the shed and its contents, causing approximately $15,000 in damage, he said.

At some point after the tractor-trailer ran off the road, the vehicle's saddle diesel-fuel tanks came off, Eckman said.

Rescue workers responded and took Sampson and Rodriguez to Winchester Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, according to Eckman. Charges are pending against Rodriguez, Eckman said.

The crash caused approximately $60,000 in damage to the tractor-trailer and $7,500 to the BMW, Eckman said. The cargo did not appear damaged, he noted.

Law enforcement and fire and rescue workers closed one lane of Va. 7 near the crash scene as crews cleaned up the diesel fuel and remove the vehicles from the road.

For further developments, visit nvdaily.com or read the print edition of The Northern Virginia Daily.

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